March 24th, 2010
09:01 AM ET
3 years ago

Virginia governor to sign law firing back at health care bill

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell will sign legislation Wednesday to outlaw the federal government from forcing Virginia residents to buy health insurance.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell will sign legislation Wednesday to outlaw the federal government from forcing Virginia residents to buy health insurance.

(CNN) - A day after President Obama signed the health care reform bill, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell will put his signature Wednesday on legislation to outlaw the federal government from forcing state residents to purchase health insurance.

The Virginia measure, passed by the state's general assembly last month, directly conflicts with the new federal mandates that all Americans purchase some form of health insurance starting in 2014.

In an effort to sustain the Virginia law, the state's attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, filed a lawsuit Tuesday in federal district court in Richmond arguing the federal insurance law is an unconstitutional overreach of Congressional power.

While proponents of the measure argue that Congress acted within its authority under the Constitution's Commerce Clause provision, Cuccinelli's complaint says the U.S. Supreme Court has never ruled that the clause allows Congress to require citizens to purchase a good or service like health insurance.

Cuccinelli's complaint also argues that the Virginia law McDonnell is signing Wednesday trumps the federal law because it is a matter assigned to the states under the Constitution's 10th Amendment. That amendment says that all powers not explicitly granted to the federal government remain with the states.

Idaho has enacted a similar law outlawing individual mandates, and more than a dozen other state attorneys general - led by Florida's Bill McCollum - filed a lawsuit Tuesday challenging the constitutionality of the federal health care law.


Filed under: Bob McDonnell • Health care • Popular Posts • Virginia
soundoff (145 Responses)
  1. Tom in Wheaton, Illinois

    Blather, blather, blather. As Sarah herself might say, "How's that Supreme Court-ey thing goin' for ya'?"

    March 24, 2010 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  2. Vivian

    States pass such legislation should not get any Federal assistance for uninsured people. Let the states take on full responsibility for medical expenses of their uninsured residents and let's see how fast the states go into bankruptcy. It is time for the gov't to start calling bluffs and let the chips fall where the may.

    March 24, 2010 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  3. STOP MCDONNELL

    These radical republicans are trying to take this country back tot he 1960's. Impeach McDonnell for discrimination against gay state employees!!! Discrimination by any other name is still discrimination. As a health care medical biller in Virginia, McDonnell must be crazy. He's already cut alot of healthcare jobs since he's been in office. A matter of fact, the child development program EPIC was cut last week under McDonnell, which is a much needed program for children with special needs. My fellow Virginians, Petition McDonnell now!

    March 24, 2010 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  4. Proud Vet

    I do not understand why any American would oppose health care for all citizens. All of the talking that the Republicans are doing does not make up for the fact that they failed to get anything done for us on this issue when they had control. That is one reason why I am no longer a Republican. All talk + no action + say no to anything that the other party proposes = Republican these days.

    March 24, 2010 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  5. Great job Bob......

    let's get all the states on board with this.....

    Can't wait for the case to go to the Supreme Court where Obama is extremely disliked.....

    March 24, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  6. Kevin in Ohio

    We need more and more states to take this kind of action. The Federal Government is over-reaching.... and this hasn't been seen since the 1770's. If you liberals want a King or Queen, move somewhere else.

    March 24, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  7. Rush is to far left

    Hmmmm. An intelligent governor that is actually thinking about the people in his state. Lets see how many other intelligent governors there are in the US that will join him.

    It is funny how even the Russians refer to Obama as marxist and wonder how America has not learned from 70 years of Russia's mistakes. It seems Russia and the USSA are changing places.

    March 24, 2010 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  8. Dave in Albuquerque

    Oh, great, nullification is back. What's his next big idea, secession?

    March 24, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  9. CEE

    What is unconstitutional is being held hostage by the Insurance Industry, by their high premiums, and denied coverage, and cut off when they get sick. The Republicans don't seem to care about that.

    March 24, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  10. TH

    As a Virginian, I strongly oppose this move by Richmond.

    They talk a good game about no distribution of wealth while they a guilty of it themselves. For every dollar that Northern Virginia send down to Richmond, we get back roughly half. Now they want to waste more of my tax dollars opposing a bill that will be good for America in the long run.

    They party of NO and teabaggers need to understand that they destorying the country, but they are too blinded by hates to see that. Just like McDonnell, they are mostly whites, racists, bigots, and sexists.

    March 24, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  11. Sarah, Northern Colorado

    Everyone in America who drives is required to have car insurance. Every homeowner in America is required to have homeowners' insurance, and if they live in a flood plain, it's mandatory to have flood insurance. So why is it unconstitutional that people who need health care (that is, everyone living) be required to have it?

    March 24, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  12. Steve Lyons

    We the people need to force our state legislators to call a Constitutional Convention and over rule Congress by passing three Constitutional amendments that do the following:

    1) Abolish the 16th Amendment and prohibit the federal government from taxing US Citizens.

    2) Impose term and age limits on federally elected and appointed officials. Also in this it should make it illegal for any elected official currently serving to campaign for any office or to campaign on behalf of someone else for office.

    3) Repeal any and all foreign treaties that infringe on the US Constitution in whole or in part. Treaties are business agreements and must NOT violate our nations sovereignty under any circumstance.

    March 24, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  13. USN

    Looks like the dear leader will have to send the troops to qwell the uprising of the peasants

    March 24, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  14. maryd

    As long as these states dont take any federal money for future health care costs let them drop out. But they will be the first in line for a handout when there is a hurricane, flood, etc. like the hypocrites they are. I cannot believe state leaders have the audacity to speak for the milllions of people in their state who want this health care reform – maybe they will be voted out.

    March 24, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  15. sonny chapman

    Civil Rights deja`vu all over again. Of course, the South, with it's strong States Rights history, except in Gore v. Bush, leads the way.

    March 24, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  16. Mike M

    What a group of fools!! They are just trying to make political points. I think the people of Virginia need to file a lawsuite against MacDonald and Cuccinelli for playing poiltics with their offices. Before doing what they are doing, a referendum should be held in VA to see what the people who elected them want. They they can proceed accordingly.

    This is what happens when you elect a bunch of ideologues.

    March 24, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  17. don

    Yet another Republican Governor not wanting to be part of the Union? Maybe he would like Newport News Naval Shipyard moved to NC. We would be glad to take it. Let us know Gov.

    March 24, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  18. Enuff

    Wow, I mean if these guys had shown this much concern when Bush passed tax cuts for the rich that were unpaid for and when Bush led the country into a war in Iraq maybe I would believe this is about States rights or being fiscally conservative. BUT they did not! the were no tea party movements, no outbursts of anger then. Only now they say something on a Bill (though not perfect) but actually helps millions of people. This works because we believe anything and never stop to think about how Republican are all about whitewashing the truth and never anything REAL!

    March 24, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  19. Kyle

    Either these guys aren't aware that states can't nullify federal law (in which case they shouldn't be in public office) or are only doing it for political points with the public (in which case, they're pandering). The Republicans need to wake up and realize that they can't just say "no" to everything. Especially considering that John McCain, the Republican Party's own nominee, supported an individual mandate in the 2008 election.

    March 24, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  20. ran

    Way to go Va for picking a fear/hate/obstructionist/purity Republican.

    Pick better next time okay.

    March 24, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  21. Willy Brown

    You go Bob!

    March 24, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  22. Ryan

    These idiots don't realize that that State can't sue – Unless they can prove the negative effects/damages and for every resident of the State. Since not every resident is complaining about anything... you can't represent them.

    There's also the issue: We are all forced to buy Car Insurance and none of this morons screamed about that law.

    Add to that – the whole point of the mandate is so that if someone gets sick or injured – the rest of us aren't stuck footing the bill for them. So really the option left is.... if you refuse to buy insurance and you are sick or injured, then we have the right to let you die without treatment in order to save money.

    You aren't being "forced" to buy anything that doesn't benefit you – You're getting HEALTH INSURANCE out of the deal and 700.00 for theh year is a STEAL!!! The Republican Party is clearly all about themselves and their insurance industry lobbyists. Perhaps if we paid them more then they'd MAYBE decide to work for the people.

    Oh and the majority of Americans DO support this bill, they just wish it went FURTHER (that's what these fake polls aren't accounting – in order to stir up controversy for readers and sell subscriptions). I'm never disappointed when it comes to people boasting about their stupidity in this country. Astounded really.

    March 24, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  23. townna brown

    it just get to me how these Gop ask if everything this president do its a problem he spend to much money .Bush spended money and didnt give a dam what neither side had to say Bush bail out bank and whatever eles he wanted to do where were all you big mouth then sit back like puppy sheep.alot of you are upset because yall think this is going to help blacks well let me tell u im a caregiver for a very wealth family (WHITE) who are spending half of there wealth on medical bill for there mother because a insure drop her because of her illness alot of you who are angry so say need health care yourself he didnt do this for a specail group of peoples he did it for young old black white give this man a break

    March 24, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  24. Stacie

    That's fine. Let's wait until 2014 to decide if this part is legal.

    March 24, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  25. pants on fire

    In his thesis, McDonnell wrote "government policy should favor married couples over 'cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators.'"[38] McDonnell also "described working women and feminists as 'detrimental' to the family."[38] McDonnell "criticized a landmark 1965 Supreme Court decision" which legalized the use of contraceptives and wrote that "man’s basic nature is inclined towards evil, and when the exercise of liberty takes the shape of pornography, drug abuse, or homosexuality, the government must restrain, punish, and deter."

    March 24, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
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